Local band bringing surf-rock vibes to Pavilion Theatre

Echo Beach is testing the waters on a new opportunity for local musicians with the release of its debut EP next week. Between it and other bands on the Kamloops record label, Factotum CO, they’ve been scouting new venue options for local bands in hopes it will help grow the live music scene.

The four-piece post-surf band is releasing its first EP titled Everly on May 26th with a show at Pavilion Theatre — home to Western Canada Theatre and a venue Factotum founder JP Lancaster hopes will become a hub for independent music. He said next week’s show is a huge step forward.

Guitarist Emilio Pagnotta said Echo Beach has seen a lot of support from other establishments, from Padlock Studios to Red Collar and the Commodore, but there’s a need for something new.

“We spent a good two months trying to figure out where we were going to do this one,” he said.

“We constantly want to try doing different things rather than the usual Kamloops routine, which has been working but it’s not gaining people’s interest.

“I think if we try hard to do these DIY events and have people help us, we can spark some more interest by creating a lot of different venues and different events.”

Echo Beach played its first gig a couple years ago when a friend lined them up to play at GenNext’s pop-up picnic.

All four members attended high school together in Kamloops. Pagnotta and lead singer Mac Lefebvre have talked about making music on and off for about 10 years, really sinking their teeth into it when Lefebvre returned from a long trip to Indonesia. It was that trip that inspired the name Echo Beach, which happens to be one of Lefebvre’s favourite spots in the country.

With Russ Walton on bass and Tanner Kerr on the drums the band has honed its low-fi blues, surf-rock style, drawing inspiration from 1960s folk music and early iterations of rock and roll. Their sound has developed through playing live shows. Pagnotta said they’ve never taken themselves too seriously.

“Going up on stage and playing for people is a lot of fun but we don’t really try too hard,” he said.

“We just started getting to know everyone in the music scene… We all got a little more passionate and wanted to pursue actually recording something and getting out there.”

Echo Beach is debuting its first EP after getting on board with Factotum earlier this year. Being part of the label has given them motivation to do more with their music.

“It’s been inspiring for us, really. We’ve been wanting to do more because of it, just to build what [Lancaster] has been doing,’ Pagnotta said. “I think it’s also showing people in town you can go and do this. You don’t have to move to Vancouver to get out there and have some fun and play some music.”

The band recorded the album in Walton’s home studio, giving them the freedom to experiment, work at their own pace and get creative, Pagnotta said. Felix Fung of Little Red Sounds mixed the album while serving as co-producer. Factotum CO will be releasing the album on both cassette and digitally May 26th.

At Pavilion, they’ll be joined by At Mission Dolores and Penticton’s Jared Jackel’s Bad Vibrations. The doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are at the Kamloops Live box office.

After their EP release show, Echo Beach will be hitting the road this summer with Kamloops’ Elsewhere for a tour through B.C.’s Interior.

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